A man in London tries to help a counter-espionage Agent. But when the Agent is killed, and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to save himself and stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.
While holidaying in Switzerland, Lawrence and his wife Jill are asked by a dying friend, Louis Bernard, to get information hidden in his room to the British Consulate. They get the information, but when they deny having it, their daughter Betty is kidnapped. It turns out that Louis was a Foreign Office spy and the information has to do with the assassination of a foreign dignitary. Having managed to trace his daughter's kidnappers back to London, Lawrence learns that the assassination will take place during a concert at the Albert Hall. It is left to Jill, however, to stop the assassination.Written by
Producer C.M. Woolf hated this movie and only allowed it to be released as the bottom half of a double bill. Nevertheless, it won rave reviews. See more »
When the man is shot through the window, near the beginning of the film, just before he is shot, he turns to face another man. At that time, you can see the beginnings of a blood stain on his shirt next to his lapel...*before* he's shot. See more »
Vintage Hitchcock that is a little too stiff for it's own good
Whilst on holiday in Switzerland to compete in winter sports the Lawrence family inadvertently meet a spy who is killed in front of them. He passes information to them relating to an assassination but, before they can pass on the information their daughter is kidnapped for their silence. Back in London they decide to start looking for the kidnappers and prevent the assassination themselves.
Hitchcock's strength here is that an wholly unlikely plot which is full of holes is masked by a sense of wit and good feeling that covers the flaws. The whole thing falls down under scrutiny and as a thriller it doesn't really cut it as well as I'd hoped it certainly doesn't compare to The 39 Steps. However the film is very classy and very, very British.
I expect to American audiences nowadays that the very polite gentleman like approach of the film is very strange but it works quite well. The final shoot out lacks excitement simply because it is unrealistic in the extreme but it's still quite enjoyable and has it's moments. Lorre is good as the villain but lacks the smarmy qualities he brought to later films. Leslie Banks is very good as the solid British hero and Best is good as his sassy (if underused) wife. Wakefield has a good comedy role as Banks' side kick.
Overall the age of the film means it feels very stagy and very stiff but there's still much to enjoy with good settings, comedy and vintage Hitchcockian touches.
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